A Sunday Morning in Kampala

“Praise the Lord, feel his love rushing though you. Feel him touch your soul. You are saved brother, you are saved”.

I wearily look up from my scrambled eggs and rather soggy toast. The church next door to my hotel has been going for over 3 hours now.

At one point there is a rather terrifying scream before there is an impressively drawn out chorus’ of ‘hallelujahs’.

I leave the last bit of soggy toast on my plate and make my way out into the mid-morning sun.

I sharply step sideways off the potholed concrete road into the red earth gutters as motorcycles and 4X4s swerve perilously close. All the time trying to keep an eye on the on-coming traffic and an eye on the fabulous views that stretch in front of me.

The sprawling city centre sits in the distance as I make my towards the notorious ‘Kabalagala’ area of town.  I pass men opening their shops opposite bars that are still going from the previous night.

The bass from a reggae bar seeps out onto the street. It feels like electricity is passing through the tarmac. As I pass each bar I peer in to watch the revellers who are still going, still enjoying the bars of Kampala – the city that truly never sleeps.

Short skirts and crumpled suits zigzag across the dance floors and prop up the bar as they refuse to accept that their night is over.

I walk on only stopping to buy some mango on the side of the road. The seller beams a smile back at me as I hand over about twenty per cent more than a local would – the ‘muzungo’ price.

With sticky fingers I finish my mango and make my way past one of Kampala’s 24/7 traffic jams. Nut sellers squeeze through improbable gaps in the traffic risking their life, quite literally, for peanuts.

These nut sellers seem to move with ease in and out of the traffic as I wait trying to find a break in the wall of traffic to cross into the shade on the other side of the street.

In the shade I am conscious of how quickly the sun has risen. On the equator sunrise is like sitting in a bath as it fills up with hot water – immersing you, the heat surrounding you.

The sun now shines hard on the red earth and strips through any pretence that the new day has yet to start.

This Sunday morning will be spent sleeping off last night’s excess for some, praising the lord for others and for me at least, exploring the maze of streets in the city centre.

As I make my way into the centre, a small minibus with its bumper hanging off stops to offer me a lift. On the front windscreen the words ‘TRUST ONLY GOD’ are printed. On this occasion I decide to take the advice and say I am happy to walk.


Filed under Travel, Uganda

3 responses to “A Sunday Morning in Kampala

  1. If I think I’m being overcharged, I say ” Sagala Muzungu price!” I don’t want Muzungu price.
    It normally works… People are so shocked to hear a Muzungu speak Luganda!


  2. Sounds farmiliar.You didnt crash into the boda bodas???


  3. L

    aaaa fond memories…. tried some avocados yet? or brought a bed frame they were insanely popular! Lones xx


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